In a study conducted by the Dogs Trust in 2008, 78% of pet owners had experienced difficulties finding privately rented accommodation that allowed pets, with 54% of pet owners never actually being able to find a suitable rented property at all.
As a so-called nation of animal lovers this can be a hard pill to swallow, so why are renters finding it so hard to find a place that both they and their pets can call home?
It’s highly unlikely that all landlords simply don’t like pets and although it can sometimes feel discriminatory to refuse pets, for a landlord it’s about protecting their investment. From chewed walls and carpets, to waking up the neighbours and persistent complaints you can see why some landlords are apprehensive about renting to a tenant who has pets – and unfortunately it only takes just one bad experience to put them off renting to pet owners altogether.
As a responsible pet owner looking to rent you have to put the landlord’s ‘investment’ at the forefront of your mind and convince then that you’ll not only be responsible for your pet, but you’ll also be responsible for their property too. So, to even be considered for a property with your pet you’ll have to show the landlord just what a good tenant you and they would be.
Here are a few top tips for renting with pets:
Be honest from the start – don’t try and sneak your pet in, it will only cause problems in the future and you could possibly be evicted too.
Ask your prospective landlord if they’d like to visit you in your current home. They’ll then be able to see first-hand how you look after your property and how well behaved your pets are.
Take a few days off. It’s always a good idea to take a few days off with your pets when you first move in to help them settle in. Moving house can be particularly stressful for dogs and could result in unusual excessive barking that could upset your neighbours and in turn your landlord too.
Be a good neighbour. Whether its noise, pets wandering loose or unsightly messes, it’s important that you keep them all in check. At the end of the day if your neighbours aren’t happy it’s highly likely your landlord will be the first to hear about it – and if it keeps happening your landlord may not wish to renew your tenancy.
Offer to pay a higher deposit. The majority of landlords simply don’t allow pets because they are concerned about the damage they may cause and the potential cost of the repairs. If you agree to pay a higher deposit you are showing the landlord that you’ll take responsibility if any damage is caused.
Agree to have the house professionally cleaned if and when you leave. All animals will cause some amount of mess, whether it’s muddy footprints on the kitchen floor, or hair on the carpet from moulting – this is to be expected, but if you’re willing to get the carpets cleaned before you leave this helps your landlord to see that you’re prepared to leave their property in good condition.
Get an agreement in writing. If your landlord does agree to your pets moving in, then make sure you get it in writing, just to protect yourself in case they change their minds later on.
Create a CV for your pet. Although it might seem funny, your pet must impress your landlord just as much, if not more, than you need to. So make sure you include information that will help your landlord to see that you’re a responsible pet owner – such as a short summary about you as a pet owner, along with any obedience or socialization classes your pet has attended, or any voluntary work they’ve done in schools in hospitals, references from your vet, your dog trainer or even your neighbours – if you can get a good reference from your current or previous landlord even better!
Whilst there are many landlords that won’t consider renting to tenants who have pets there are still some out there who, as long as you take full responsibility for your pet and their property, will be happy to rent to you.
Top Tips sourced from: The Dogs Trust